Awaiting that Sliver of Light

December 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments
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Well, you haven’t heard from me for a while. I owe you an apology, or at least an explanation.

As I wrote in an earlier post, last spring our family–my husband and me, his mother, and by association, his kids and grandkids, went on an illness roller-coaster ride. In April, Keith contracted pneumonia, during the diagnosis of which he was discovered to have a “mass” in his kidney, which turned out to be a malignancy, which was removed in June. Before he had recovered from the surgery, his 92-year-old mother down in Clearwater almost died, but by September Betty was back in her independent living home. We went on vacation. I wrote a blog post about the Synod on the Family.

When we came home, the urologist who did Keith’s surgery called to say he also had an elevated PSA (prostate specific antigen) and would have to have an MRI. Meantime, Keith’s Mom got quite sick again, and before long, was moved from the hospital to a hospice facility. One morning toward the end of October, the doctor called to say that Keith had a “nodule” on his prostate, and would have to have a biopsy. That afternoon, the hospice called to say his mother had died. (Seriously!). So we flew down to Clearwater for Keith to do the funeral. We then ran around gathering the various estate papers–we’re still messing with them–and flew back to New York just in time for the biopsy. Later that week we learned that Keith has prostate cancer; the surgery to remove his prostate is scheduled for early January.

This second cancer episode in six months seems just to be extremely bad luck, not a metastasis of the kidney cancer. And the doctor believes the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, so once again, we seem to have dodged a bullet. But we are not exactly feeling grateful yet. The whole thing has been just too much.

Years ago, at the height of my feminist activist phase, each December women I knew celebrated the end of the longest dark nights and the beginning of the lengthening of daylight, the winter solstice. Some of them still do. Myself, I never really took to it; seemed kind of romantic, which, if you read this blog very much, you realize I’m not. This year, though, I am waiting eagerly for December 21, for that first new sliver of light that points toward brighter days ahead.


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  1. Oh, Marian. Light and darkness are so powerful, so universal.


  2. Sending love and hope for a new year filled with more light than darkness. Big hug


  3. John 1 — tomorrow’s Rejoice Sunday gospel; light!


  4. Oh dear Marian– This is a familiar road! So sorry to hear this news. my thoughts are with you both. always feel free to call or email me.


  5. Marion
    So sorry to hear of all your trials this year. Have faith, dear sister, the new year holds much promise. Thinking of you and many friends who are facing such great challenges. I remember a quote that says ” When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.” It’s helped me more than once.


  6. Marian–I’m so sorry to hear about Keith’s cancer–just when one might think he is out of the woods. Know that we will pray for him–and you and your family, especially during this time when God gives all good gifts. Take care. May you have the Peace of Jesus in your minds, His Presence in your hearts, and His Power in your lives!


  7. Marian,

    RCWMS will have its annual Interfaith service tomorrow night in honor of the winter solstice. I’ll be thinking of you and Keith. May you have more light and more lightness of spirit in 2015. This year has been really had on you all.

    I’m saying prayers for Keith’s health and for your strength. I’m SO sorry that he has had two cancer episodes and that him mother died in the midst of all that!

    Jeanette Stokes Durham, NC Blog:

    Amendment One has been REPEALED!


  8. Keith is in my daily prayers, and my friend Donna Henes has a great solstice celebration each year, and I will send your intentions to her so they can be danced and drummed and all great celebration rituals! I have to work so will miss it, but Grand Army Plaza will be sizzling with solstice joy! Thanks for keeping us posted, even if it is such hard news.


  9. Sending you love and light, dear friend, that this dark walk may end happily.


  10. So sorry about all this–prayers for Keith and for you. Light and love,


    • Sendingi you prayers and love and a wish that December 21st comes quickly to you and Keith this year. Very sorry for the loss of your mother in
      law. Please take care of yourself in all this stress.
      Barbara W


  11. […] in April of 2014 I began rethinking this. As I described it some months later, that was when Keith, my husband, began a year of serious illnesses, punctuated by the death of his […]


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